Add Patrick Willis to the list of 49ers getting off-season tune-ups. The 49ers' inside linebacker had recent surgery on his left thumb and is now in a cast, as recent photos from his Instagram account show and as a league source confirmed.
Hand injuries have been Willis' Achilles' heel, so to speak. When he broke a bone in his right hand during a pass-rushing drill in July, it marked the fourth time since he was a junior at Ole Miss he has dealt with a fracture on that hand. He did not miss any games due to that or any of his hand injuries. However, he sat out two games early in the season because of a groin injury. It's not clear when the most recent injury occurred. Willis was not on the 49ers' injury report heading into last week's NFC Championship game.
Willis, who turned 29 on Saturday, healed and played better as the season went on, and he had 27 tackles and an interception in the playoffs. He was one of the eight 49ers who opted out of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, presumable due to his injury.
Other 49ers who had or will have surgery include fellow inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (ACL) and defensive end Ray McDonald (biceps tendon).
-- Matt Barrows